What if we were to take an explicit relational perspective on organizing? What if we put our organizational conversations and interactive practices right in the middle of our scholarly focus on organizations? In this contribution, I wish to document how the concept of “relational practices” can be formulated as a generative approach to organizing in emergent and multiplex organizational contexts. Starting from the main concern of developing “actionable knowledge” about organizing, I will compare and contrast a relational constructionist approach with a mere instrumental approach to organizing. Beyond the purposive coordination of the means to attain intended goals, organizing will be considered as an essentially relational activity. Actors acknowledge mutually meaningful contributions and, at the same time, mutually enact organizational membership through joint engagement in “relational practices.” Relational organizing is as much a goal in itself as a means to an end.
Bouwen, R. (2010), "Chapter 2 “Relational Practices” for Generative Communal Organizing: Traveling Between Geel and Ecuador", Steyaert, C. and Van Looy, B. (Ed.) Relational Practices, Participative Organizing (Advanced Series in Management, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 21-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1877-6361(2010)0000007006Download as .RIS
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